Senate Reaffirms Vote for Cell Phone Tracking Bill

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
July 9, 2013 12:00 am


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Governor’s Veto of Drone Bill Stands

July 9, 2013

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AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Senate today reaffirmed its vote to require warrants for cell phone tracking, and the House is expected to take up the measure later today. Gov. LePage had vetoed the bill, LD 415, “An Act to Require a Warrant to Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device,” sponsored by Sen. Roger Katz (R-Augusta). If the House votes to override the veto, this will be the fourth major privacy protection bill enacted by the legislature this session.

“Today’s Senate vote in favor of warrants for cell phone tracking is a win for the Fourth Amendment right to privacy,” said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Mainew. “Law enforcement should not be able to track average Mainers via the cell phone in their pocket without a warrant approved by a judge.”

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to vote to override the governor’s veto of LD 236 requiring warrants for drone surveillance. Although the governor has said he will issue an Executive Order directing the Commissioner of Public Safety to establish guidelines surrounding the use of drones, that action is not sufficient to safeguard privacy in the face of new and invasive technology.

“Our personal privacy is too important to take half measures,” said Bellows. “We will continue working to put in place warrant requirements for drones because this technology is far too powerful to go unchecked.”

For more on the status of the privacy bills, click here.

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